Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

It's been about half a year since my last Trichology session at The DRx Medispa so here's an update on my hairy situation. I've been using the Nanogen Thickening Treatment Shampoo (200ml, $30) and the Nanogen Serum VEGF Growth Factor Solution ($170, 3x30ml btls) rather religiously and i think that my hair loss has been controlled somewhat and it also feels like i've been growing more hair too!
So i headed back to DRx Medispa for another session the Purifying Hair Treatment with Laser Therapy ($188 for 90mins) to cleanse my scalp.
First, the easy parts. Deep cleansing serum to exfoliate the scalp.
Mist to enlarge the follicles and that was followed by a hair wash. During the wash, Stella asked if i was going to torture myself with the needles again and i crazily said yes. WHAT WAS I THINKING???
Well, i know the benefits of the microneedle therapy. It's just that it's really hard to sit still when your head is being pricked by these little needles that are meant to stimulate and promote hair growth. My skin is seriously rather thin so it hurts even more. Well well.. it's all for luscious and healthy hair! If you wish, you could ask them to let you try the microneedles. It usually only comes with the stem cell treatment.
After what seemed like forever, we ended the treatment with a Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) to cool the scalp.

As Peggy wasn't around, the other trichologist helped to scan my scalp after the treatment. Look at the thick strands of hair! Yay. There are still some clogged follicles but my scalp condition has improved. :)

A healthy follicle is supposed to be dented so there is space for the hair to grow. A healthy follicle could have 3-4 strands of hair growing from it. If you look at the left follicle, you'll see 2 monstrous strand and a feeble baby one. Well, i was told that the poor baby one is being deprived of nutrients from the stronger 2 and if i do not feed it with sufficient nutrients, it'll die eventually! Scary!!

Despite trying to add more meat to my diet, i guess i'm still not taking in sufficient Vitamin B. I've since started on B complex and Vit C as well to help with the absorption. Hopefully they'll help with growing my hair. I'm a GNC member now. Soon i'll become a bodybuilder. Hurhur.
As usual, Stella and her deft hands gave me really lovely curls with the Repite Brush Iron. I have the same brush at home but i swear i can never achieve the same effect as what she does for me. BOO. More practice needed! Oh and i'm really loving the purple and reds in my hair, thanks to Silkcut Salon. Do you like this color on me?

If you're interested in trying out the Tricho Purifying Treatment (U.P. $188), quote me for 40% off your first visit. :)

302 Orchard Road, #14-02/#16-02
Tong Building (next to Paragon Shopping Centre)
Singapore 238862
Tel: +65 6223 1555
Mon to Sat: 10am to 8pm
Sun: 10am to 6pm
Navigating Koreantown in NYC could be a bitch. My first time was overwhelming because there are simply too many restaurants to choose from and all of them are usually packed to the brim. Nothing is more satisfying than a hot pot of processed junk- spam, ramen, fish cakes and fermented spicy kimchi. Well, if i gotta pick one, my favorite has to be PoCha 32.

First of all, it was an absolute throwback to one of those covered food tents in Korea with the floor to ceiling draped nets and sake caps strewn on it for decoration. The energy was simply amazing and very Korean. Loud conversations, insane laughter, huge pots of food and the non stop eating, slurping and drinking.

Po Cha served an extensive menu of typical Korean dishes but you should certainly order a casserole (they are practically permanent fixtures on every table). I went for the Boodae Jungol ($27), aka Army Stew aka an everything pot, for the ultimate cold weather comfort food. It was a bubbling cauldron of kimchi, spam, sausage, pork, ramyun noodle, rice cake, mushroom and melty cheese on top. Yes it's junk food but you all need this kinda junk every now and then!

This spectacular mess has been dreaming of it every time the weather turns cold. There's something addictive about that spicy gochujang sauce and the hotchpotch of ingredients. Each order is sufficient for 3-4 pax and it's really satisfying.

Undeterred by the size of my hot pot, i insisted on ordering another side dish at least. What's a food review if you only order 1 item right? So, i picked the Squid Soondae ($25). I didn't understand how could squid be so expensive, until it was served. Hell this isn't a side dish! It's a bloody super sized main course! 

This giant squid was way too big and fat for the hot plate that it was served on. Only the body of the squid can be contained on the plate and the tentacles had to be snipped off and placed on a different plate. 

What's more, as the server sliced the squid, spicy pork belly bulgogi started spilling out of the squid! ZOMG droolicious!!!  

The meat was extremely flavorful with the perfect mix of spice from the sauce and the peppers. As with the typical Korean sauces, the base is mostly sweet. Everything was perfectly cooked and the squid wasn't too chewy either. Amazing dish!
The other dishes on the menu. There are a whole lot of them! 
Don't go crazy with your order! Portions are HUGE. We had a hard time finishing our food and there were 3 of us (ok 2.5 since i probably only ate half a regular person's portion). Remember to wash the spice down with a watermelon soju. 

Absolutely love love love PoCha 32. Not sure about the reservations part but if that doesn't work out, make sure you head there early, put your name down on the waiting list and then come back after. The wait could be a bitch but the satisfaction after is worth it. 

PoCha 32
15 W 32nd St #2, New York, NY 10001, United States
+1 212-279-1876
Daily: 5pm - 3am
There is a hidden gem in Orchard Road that i've been keeping a secret hidden since the media preview and that is KUVO restaurant. The elegant and sophisticated space in Orchard Shopping Centre (it took over Lei Garden Restaurant) takes on a multi concept approach to dining and it offers bespoke cocktails, extensive list of New World wines and exclusive labels, as well as international food offerings.
The main dining space seats up to 88 persons over 2 wings and it serves an all day a la carte menu with all day breakfasts (yay!). The KUVO Atlantic Cod Meuniere ($38) was a massive piece of sweet pea-crusted cod medallion (it can cover at least half my face) with pearl barley fricassee, layered potato/sweet potato gratin with a citrus nutty-brown butter. The lightly flavored sides complemented the freshness of the cod and allowed the sweetness to come through. My mama enjoyed it thoroughly on a separate visit.
Asian selections are also available including the Slipper Lobster Laksa Lemak ($22) and King Prawn Noodle Soup ($20) if you prefer something different. 
Another highlight is the sumptuous tea available daily from 2 - 5.30pm ($35/pax). It includes a three-tiered tea set (refillable), together with a mini buffet spread of cheeses, hams, tapas bites and a whole selection of desserts! My mummy enjoyed this one because she had so much to pick from. I do love the cheeses and cold cuts. Also, who can resist the desserts bar.
I would certainly be back to chill out at the Vine Lounge with the delicious Brut by Antica Fratta ($17/glass, $98/btl). I also enjoyed the Pinot Bianco by J. Hofstatter ($16/glass, $84/btl) tremendously. 

Small plates and bespoke cocktails are also available at Elixir Bar, which is helmed by mixologist Yutaka Nakashima. Do not miss the Duck Foie Gras Duo ($21)! I'm drooling over that creamy chunks of liver just thinking about them. 
Kuvo also does an all day breakfast and my mama thought their pancakes are a lot fluffier than the ones i make. MEH. But yea, great spot to escape the Orchard Road crowd. Don't say i never share! Btw, the entrance is between House of Robert Timms and Poh Heng Jewelry. Take the escalator to the second floor!

321 Orchard Road #02-01, Singapore 238866
Orchard Shopping Centre (next to 313 Somerset)
Tel: +65 6733 8272
Open Daily
Restaurant: 12- 11pm
Wine and Tapas: 12pm - 1am (till 2am on Fri-Sat and Eve PH)
Cocktails: 5pm - 1am (till 2am on Fri-Sat and Eve PH)

If there's a spot in Tanjong Pagar which can satisfy practically all food cravings, it would be Orchid Hotel. Ramen lovers have Keisuke, Japanese food fanatics have Teppei and Hanare and more, burger fans can get their cravings satisfied with Two Blur Guys, and there's also Cake Spade for that after meal sweets! A cafe was missing from this mix but it has now been filled by Souper Sarnies with their freshly made sandwich-waffles offering.
The smallish cafe sit a maximum of 10 pax indoors but it would feel kinda squeezy with that many people. I was there with a gf and it felt just right for the 2 of us so i can't imagine how it would be on a weekday during lunch time. Ventilation wasn't that great, i kept smelling the food which is prepared in the contained space and we left smelling like leftover breakfast. Then again, i suppose you're not meant to hang around in the little shop. 

The menu consists of sandwiches, waffles and some salads. Everything here is made from scratch and from fresh and quality ingredients. Even the cakes are homemade. Prices are pretty reasonable as well (nett pricing).
Souper Sarnies has also started serving brunch on weekends and here's the brunch menu.

I decided to stick with the regular items since people typically wouldn't go to the CBD for brunch on weekends. I'd certainly recommend the BLAT Sandwich ($10.90) which is a toasted panini with Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomatoes and lots of mayonnaise. I loved that I can taste the creamy avocado immediately because the owners are super generous with the spread. Each bite was juicy and smoky and salty as well (from the bacon). The only downside was that it is a little small.
The Salted Caramel Buttermilk Waffles ($12.90) was pretty yummy too. This comes with a scoop f New Zealand Natural Vanilla bean ice cream. The waffle was sufficiently light, with a fluffy rispy with a fluffy core. It could do with a little more crisp and certainly more salted caramel sauce (it's homemade too). 
Highlander coffee is served here and it's sufficiently decent. I sure wouldn't mind popping by again to grab a sandwich on the go.

Souper Sarnies
1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel #01-07 Singapore 078867
Tel: +65 9115 9566
Weekdays: 8.30am - 9pm
Sat 9am-9pm

It's hot spring weather and there's no better place than the pretty Kurokawa Onsen to soak away the burdens and load accumulated in the year. This is one of Japan's most attractive hot spring towns, and i knew exactly why when i set my eyes on it. Despite it being a 'resort' town, there was none of those touristy and gimmicky vibe or huge resort and tour group presence. Instead, there was a peaceful calm in this traditional town where local tourists roam about in their yukata (light Japanese cotton robe) and wooden clogs.
Getting there
Buses run from Yufuin and it was a short 1 hour ride. Kurokawa Onsen is also connected to Mt Aso and Kumamoto Take the Odan Bus (Direction Beppu towards Kumamoto). Click here for the timetable.
There has been a slew of Japanese dessert cafes and bakeries opening in Singapore and one of the latest is Pantler, a little outfit in the Tanjong Pagar/ Telok Ayer area. Opened by young (and cute) baker Matthias Phua and helmed by Chef Tomoharu Morita (both previously from Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Joel Robuchon Singapore), Pantler features high quality baked goods using ingredients from Japan and France.

The sweets selection was well balanced between pastries and cakes.
Expect croissants, tarts and danishes. Coffee is from Dutch Colony ($3.50 for Espresso, $5.80 for Café latte and Cappuccino). 
The Pithivier ($7.50) filled with almond frangipane was a nice layered pastry with a generous filling. The Frangipane wasn't too sweet which was great but I thought it could have more crunch and bite to it.
Something refreshing (or bitter) would be the Ruby Tart

Pound cakes are $22 each but also available in slices. The Madeleines are a whopping $3.50 each (are you for real)! 
The Choux bun ($5.50) is only meant for eating in. The thick vanilla perfumed cream is only piped in when ordered to ensure the crispiness of the Choux pastry.

Everyone loved the flavor of this but only the girls are willing to pay $5.50 for this. I think the boys will be happy with the regular Beard Papa. That said, the cream was much better in terms of flavor and quality though!
The Yatsura ($8.50) was my other favorite. The intense dark chocolate will hit you squarely on your first bite but it mellows out. And i loved that cunchy hazelnut feuilletine.
The Pantler cheesecake ($6.80) was similar to the regular light Japanese cheesecake in terms of texture but you could still taste the distinct sharpness of the cheese. That said i'm not a fan of this one. 

The other cheese option is the Ricotta Cheese Tart ($8.50) which had a light moussy filling. The sharp contrast between that airy ricotta and that crisp short crust tart threw the balance of the dessert off. A thinner crust would have made the dish a perfect alternative to the cheesecake. 
Of the lot, I thought the Pantler roll cake ($4.80) fared the worst because it was too sweet. The cake however was delightful if you eat it without the cream or icing. It's typically Japanese in terms of the texture but with the french butter flavor once again. If you have eaten those Hokkaido cakes, you'd know what I mean.

In all, Pantler is not a bad spot to satisfy your post lunch sweets craving. I'd certainly pack and go if i'm in the area but make sure you eat that choux bun on the spot.

198 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068637
Weekdays: 8.30am - 5.30pm
Sat: 10.30am - 5.30pm
Jing Hua, established in 1989, started from its humble beginnings at Qun Zhong Eating House, a restored shophouse at Neil Road. I did not know about this famous Xiao long bao and dumpling stall until they opened their third outlet at Palais Renaissance but I heard that the original outlet is super famous and there would be snaking queues especially at meal times. Well well town is more accessible for me and I found Jing Hua to be a good alternative to the crowded and noisy Din Tai Fung.

The Orchard outlet departs a little from the 小吃店 style of the other outlets. The ambience is certainly more posh and retro-chic (it reminded me of the mod 茶餐厅 decor of a particular Starbucks in HK). Premium beverages e.g. Pu'er tea, are offered here along with spirits. Pick from the Chinese Shao Hsing wine, Baijiu ,and Japanese whisky, and shochu. If you're thinking why Japanese drinks? Well fried dumplings are like gyoza and dumplings are great bar bites.
So let's start with my picks. Do not miss the Little Juicy Steamed Meat Dumplings (小笼汤包) ($5/4pcs, $8.80/8pcs). The first thing I noticed was the delicate skin. It was thin, smooth and slightly chewy. The texture resembled a thinly rolled out chinese kueh without the stickiness. The skin is made from a special recipe and used in most of their flour products. I cannot stop raving about that texture! The lightly marinated pork meat wasn't too minced (slightly coarser than din tai fung) and hence the sweetness of the pork does come through.  
If I were to grab a quick bite, I'd certainly go for the Boiled Mixed Seafood and Pork Dumplings (三鲜饺子) ($5/4pcs, $9/10pcs) or the Pan Fried Mixed Seafood & Pork Dumplings (三鲜锅贴) ($6.50/6pcs, $9.50/10pcs).
I can't decide which I prefer. The boiled ones were fat and juicy, and they make for a delicious and healthy snack. The fried ones maintained the juiciness of the fragrant meat filling and the bonus was the added crunch. What's great was the shell maintained that light chewiness on the interior. These little crispy poppers were quite irresistible.
The Noodles with Minced Pork & Soya Bean Sauce (炸酱面) ($6.80) didn't wow me. It wasn't the fault of the yummy noodles (made from the same dough), the downfall was the sauce. Perhaps I'm accustomed to the rich soy bean sauce that comes with the typical 炸酱面 so this was kinda bland for me. More sauce was needed to coat the noodles as well. I'll suggest you add some of that soy bean chili paste (it was good with the noodles and gyoza) to boost the flavors.
The problem with many dumpling stores is that the flavors get boring after a bit due to the usage of the same filling. Even though the seafood, minced pork, and chives paste was used in several items, including the Chinese Pizza (三鲜盒子) ($10.80), the differing textures arising from the methods of preparation made each dish different. That said, the chinese pizza didn't do so well as the puff pastry was a little thick and dry (think epok epok skin) and hence I left it mostly untouched. The meat to pastry ratio could also be worked on (too little meat, too much dough). 
The Sweet Osmanthus Flower Rice Ball Soup (桂花汤圆) ($4) was a lovely way to end our meal. I loved that fragrance of Osmanthus in the soup! The dish may look bland with the white mochi balls and clear soup but it was anything but simple. The glutinous rice balls were filled with peanuts, red bean paste, lotus and walnut paste, and black sesame. Most pastes were smooth (loved the lotus walnut) with the exception of the powdery sesame.
Crispy Red Bean Pancake (豆沙锅饼) ($10.50) was alright. Made from glutinous rice flour, the texture was slightly airy, with a keropok texture. The inner layer still maintained the mochi-like chewiness. I thought the texture of the pastry paired nicely with the slightly coarse red bean paste. 
I usually don't have steamed sweet buns for desserts but the Green Tea Red Bean Steamed Dumplings ( 绿茶豆沙小笼包) ($4.50/4pcs) sounded too enticing. Great skin again and the red bean paste was fine, smooth and a little more fluid than the regular baos. The green tea flavor could be enhanced though. 
In all, Jing Hua Restaurant is a great spot to grab a quick bite in town. It may be slightly off the Orchard Road belt but you would get away from the madness. I'll pick this over Din Tai Fung if i have a dumplings craving.

Jing Hua Restaurant
Original Chinatown Shophouse
21 Neil Road, Singapore 088814

Rochor Road
159 Rochor Road, Singapore 188434

Orchard Palais Renaissance
390 Orchard Road, B1-04/05 Singapore 238871 
Tel: +65